It’s become embarrassing how much I like fennel and orange. Honestly, I should probably play it cool.
You might be thinking, “So what, woman? You made some fish with orange and fennel earlier. Big whoop.” WELL. As I’m writing this, yet another orange-fennel something is a-brewing here.
(Not literally, although if anyone wants to make fennel-orange beer, my $10 in Kickstarter funds are all yours. $25 if you call it Nothing Rhymes With Orange, because, haha.)
As you can tell, I’m full of really bad ideas sometimes. One of them was to turn the pickleback (for the unfamiliar, it’s a shot of Jameson chased with pickle brine–actually very pleasant) into a sophisticated sipper of a drink. Well, NO. Abandon this train of thought, abort, take it out back, shoot it, then yell at it for good measure.
But something good did come from that experiment: an excuse to buy a bottle of aquavit, which is basically Scandinavian vodka infused with fun things like fennel, caraway, dill, etc. Those flavors are also very predominant in the Lithuanian cuisine I grew up on–and now I get to consume them in boozy form. Aquavit is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
Thus, a wintery, fresh, herbal (but not too salad-like, although that’s enjoyable too) cocktail was born.
Sidenote about the name: The Seven Foals, if you are curious, is a Norwegian fairy tale that is strikingly similar to the Lithuanian folk tales I heard growing up, except that it does not end in violence and tragedy. You know what amber is, according to Lithuanian lore? An endless stream of the tears of some goddess trapped at the bottom of the sea, mourning her murdered love forever. We are an uplifting people. Anyway. Cheers!
- Pernod, for rinsing
- 1 1/2 ounces aquavit
- 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
- 1/2 ounce Cointreau
- 1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
- A couple dashes celery bitters
- Orange and fennel, for garnish (optional)
- Pour a bit of Pernod into a chilled double rocks glass, swirl it around, and dump it out.
- Fill the glass with ice. Combine aquavit, vermouth, Cointreau, juices and bitters in a shaker with plenty of ice and stir to combine. Strain into your glass. Garnish as you'd like.